For Saoro Poetry Month in February 2023 we talked to some poets to learn more about how they started, what inspires them & any advice they may have for writers starting out…
Recently we caught up with David Patrick Farrell….
Saoro: How did you start writing poetry?
David Patrick: I started writing poetry during lockdown. I had long hair at that time and a big top knot. Nowadays I have my head shaved but of course during lockdown, the barbers were closed. My housemate asked me would I like a haircut. I said yes, so we went into the back garden and he shaved my head completely. Whether there was a dense or stagnant energy in my hair, —whatever happened— when my head was shaved, I walked into the house and wrote a poem. Then I wrote another poem. The next day I recorded myself reading the first poem on Instagram— everyone seemed to like it. That was four years ago now.
I have an app on my phone to show how many minutes, days, hours and weeks I am sober. When I checked my phone at the time, I was actually 10,050 hours sober. So it felt like it was in my 10,000 hours of practice of being sober, that my brain became clearer. And the gift from the creator/ God divine/ source God of my understanding was to give me the gift of poetry. It’s just all been channeled through me which I’m very grateful for.
Saoro: what does poetry mean to you? (As a writer & reader of poems)
David Patrick: To me poetry means everything… poetry reframes everything so all the bittersweet tastes of life & emotions are experience to be redirected into poetry. How you live your life can be poetry, how you drink your tea or cacao; a ceremony can be poetry… Sad, disgruntled, angry feelings to be brought into poetry. I think having poetry flowing through my mind, veins and body makes me look at the world differently because I can see the beauty in all the pain, sorrow and heartbreak — I can see the beauty in that. So I’m very grateful to have the gift from the creator to see the world in this way. In this reframing, poetry helps me on my healing journey.
Saoro: do you have any tips or advice for anyone who would like to start to write but doesn’t know where to begin? If you have books or articles to recommend please do so
David Patrick: I would just recommend writing! Get a pen and paper out and write something. It doesn’t have to rhyme. If you don’t know what to write, just write “I don’t know what to write”.
The pen is moving. Words can be distorted; communication can be misunderstood & misconstrued – but with the pen and paper there are no lies. It’s clear, it’s truthful. When a pen is in your hands it flows and there are no barriers. It’s boundless, untethered… — it just goes. So just write- just write and write some more.
I always have notes in my phone, notepads, scraps of paper. As any other poet knows, I’m working on five or six different books; re-writing in five or six different places…
Saoro: can you tell us what you favourite poem is & why?
David Patrick: My favourite poem is called “defeat” by Khalil Gibran. I think it’s beautiful; such an incredible poem about defeat and how to appreciate it. It shows all the joys in defeat. You know winning, succeeding is only so beautiful because of all the previous defeats. The learning and lessons are all in the defeats. There aren’t too many lessons in the winning. Yes winning is beautiful— I can appreciate the prestige, the accolades, the valour of it, but it all builds from that place of defeat where the learning happens…
Join us for poetry month
– write a poem, pick a poem, read a poem –